Eat This Not That
I’m overwhelmed by the enormous amount of information about nutrition. Every day we are bombarded by something new. You should eat this but not that. And then a year later, no, eat that not this??? I want to shout “Can you all just please come to a decision!”, but I don’t because I understand. Research takes time and money. That is why the information is slow (time) and often conflicting (money).
Before I write anything else I want to make clear that I am not an expert. I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or anything else like that. I am just a mum. What I write bellow is my personal opinion. I have tormented myself about feeding my family and after a lot of research this is the conclusion I came to.
Should you feed your family organic?
A while ago I saw a TV show about pesticides in the food. It was one of those daytime shows. I am not going to name it, it could have been any one of them. One moment they were comparing GMO to organic food and the next conventional to organic food. I know that my conclusion is not logically or mathematically correct, but from their language I deducted that conventional food is GMO food. Is letting people come to that conclusion just showmanship and creating drama or has it really come to that? Is everything not labeled organic basically GMO?
Ok, ok, I know that I am over simplifying. The world is a big place and every country has different legislation. Some countries and regions have banned GMO. But can we be absolutely sure that the ban is controlled and enforced? Is organic food really organic? Is it really “clean”? Is there anything out there that is still safe to feed my family?
Do I sound paranoid? Well of course I do. And to an extent I am. All mums are. We are constantly afraid for our children. We worry about everything. We want our kids healthy and happy and we are determined in accomplishing that goal. “To the best of our abilities” just doesn’t cut it. We go above and beyond to make this happen.
A big part of being healthy is eating healthy. So how do we feed our families to be healthy? Should we go organic or is conventional good enough? Is just going organic enough? Should we eat more super foods? All those magical seeds, grains, berries and roots with super healing powers. OK, let’s get some of them too.
And then there is the ecological side of food. Of course we want to save the planet for our kids. Shipping food half way around the world is not good for the planet so we should buy local produce. Another bonus of local produce is that it is harvested and delivered to you at its prime. Of course you should buy this locally grown organic produce at your local farmers market because the stuff sold in the supermarkets could be sprayed with preservatives.
Are you feeling guilty now? Do you feed your kids a balanced diet of exclusively organic locally grown food from the farmers market prepared in a way that preserves all the nutrients? You don’t?!?! Well of course you don’t. It is impossible for so many reasons and here are just a few.
First of all kids have an incredible ability of sensing that a meal is healthy. Even if you try to mask it with smiley faces and animal shapes they will recognize it and run. For them anything green is not to be eaten.
Can you afford to buy ONLY organic locally grown food from the farmers market? I can’t and I believe most of you can’t either. Is such food even available where you live?
You shouldn’t feel guilty. It is impossible to meet the high standard that we demand of ourselves.
How I feed my family
I count myself lucky. I live in a part of the world where there is a decent supply of “healthy” food. I believe that even the conventional food is not as bad as it is in some parts of the world. And in addition to all that my mother in law lives in a bit more rural surrounding so she has a vegetable garden and an orchard. She also keeps chickens for eggs and raises a few dozen a year for meat. Last year she had ducks, and a year before a pig.
Even with all the “free” clean food we are getting it is still a struggle budget-wise to keep our meals as clean as possible. I wish I could buy the rest of the food at the farmers market, but I can’t. Half the fruit and vegetables we eat are from the supermarket. I wish I could get my toddler to eat his vegetables, but I can’t. Sometimes I have to give him something else to eat, a more “unhealthy” alternative, or he will go hungry.
There are a lot of things I wish I could do for my family. We all have a long list of things that we want to do. There is just not enough time or money or some other resource. We cannot do more than we physically can. It is just impossible. Budget and plan your family’s meals. Research which foods you should buy organic and which are OK conventional. Do the best you can.
Stop beating yourself up and smile. Because in the end, all your family wants is for you to be healthy and happy.